Mark Humphries: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet)

The hardest I’ve ever laughed was actually captured on camera and then rightly buried by Channel 10 for its sheer smuttiness. During the filming of this moment (sanitised by 10’s editors and then immortalised by video goldmine Brown Cardigan), a contestant was asked to name a word from the song Waltzing Matilda that has two or more syllables. They said “come”. I lost it.

But we’re not here to talk about Banjo Paterson lyrics that sound like bodily fluids, so here’s my list, and it starts right now.

1. And it starts right now

WC Fields may have once said “Never work with children or animals”, but if he had lived to see jetpacks, I reckon he would have amended the quote to include working with jetpacks.

Right now!

This is my favourite news blooper with notable mentions to recently departed ABC presenter Andrew Geoghegan for putting his hand on a live electric fence, and weatherman Steve Jacobs for his legendary rooster freak-out. But this one wins out for its beautiful contrast between a man’s hopeful enthusiasm and his immediate tragic demise.

Also, the guy was fine if you’re worried about that sort of thing.

2. Steve Harvey doesn’t want to host Family Feud any more

This is a masterclass in editing and, I’ve decided, a profound statement on the decline of America as presented through a series of game show contestants. I also pity the creator for having to trawl through episodes of Family Feud to find the clips necessary to make this.

Or maybe all Family Feud contestants are filthy-minded grubs like me and he didn’t need to watch much at all.

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If there is an all-knowing God, it is the person who wrote this headline. When did I ever see a dripping wet 7-year-old on a hotel elevator? No idea. Did I ever see one? No question about it. We all did. The headline writer knows all.

4. Zendaya is Meechee

Advance warning that this one’s an earworm, so you’ll be coming back to scratch your Meechee itch.

I don’t think I ever even heard about the film this sketch is referencing, but I feel confident in saying this 50-second video will have a greater legacy than the film itself. It somehow says so much about cynical Hollywood approaches to voice casting while possibly saying nothing about that and I’m just projecting.

5. Grandma’s got a boyfriend

And her boyfriend’s name is Paul.

The entire Netflix special John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch is a delight, but I’m particularly fond of this song based on Mulaney’s own experience of his grandmother having a boyfriend. The beauty of this piece for me is the exuberant performances of the boy and his back-up singers juxtaposed against the completely emotionless performance of the boyfriend.

6. Coronavirus McChicken

Someone cooler than me (ie most people) will be able to explain what they’re talking about at the start of this. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that she sounds like a female Harvey Fierstein and death awaits us all.

7. Broadway Baby preschool tap recital

Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway Baby has been performed by such legendary performers as Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch, but even for a diehard musical theatre fan like me, the most iconic performance will always be this dance accompaniment at a preschool tap recital.

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? It’s this dance recital.

8. The Big Bang Theory but with Ricky Gervais as the whole studio audience

The only studio audience you need, really.

An inspired thought by the video’s creator, and if the producers of The Big Bang Theory had taken this approach to replace its studio audience with the laughter of Ricky Gervais, I suspect many more people like me would have watched it. But it ran for 12 years and made millions of dollars so what do they care?

9. Get This: Warwick Capper calling

Probably the item on this list that I revisit the most. Get This was Australia’s funniest radio show and this may be the funniest few minutes of radio they produced. The brainchild of legendary panel operator Richard Marsland, it’s a bizarrely brilliant premise: calling celebrities and trying to keep a conversation going using only outtakes from a recording session of ex-footballer Warwick Capper.

“It’s Warwick Capper!”

You’ll be quoting this for years after hearing it, and special mention to news presenter George Donikian for his genuine concern for Capper’s welfare: “Warwick, where are you?”

10. When character in musicals transition from speaking to singing

That moment in a musical when a character goes from speaking to singing can be a slightly awkward and clumsy transition; essentially the musical equivalent of puberty. And while it can be a tough bridge to cross if you’re someone who can’t come to terms with characters breaking into song, I think this tribute to that moment can be enjoyed whether you’re a beautiful person who loves musicals or a monster who effing hates them.

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